Tackling the problem area, the tummy

Belly fat is anathema to many people. The area around the abdomen is a problem zone for both men and women. Eating too much, stress but also an imbalance in hormones can all be causes of belly fat. How can we reduce belly fat and tackle the problem area?


Too much energy is stored in the body as fat. If you want to lose body fat, you need to ensure that your energy (food) intake is less than your use. If you want to burn body fat, you have to ensure that your body has a small shortage of energy. The deficit that is too small will be removed from the excess fat. (A small deficiency doesn’t mean starving yourself, that’s a big serious deficiency!)
Fat disappears where fat is. Wherever there is fat in your body, the fat will disappear if you:

  • Energy intake decreases,
  • Trains and
  • Adjust your daily diet.


What do you need for it?

  • Patience,
  • Perseverance and
  • Hard work.

Nice? No! Result? Yes!


The belly needs to be tackled firmly: running, jogging, fast or brisk walking and cardio are best. Training abdominal muscles does not make much sense if you have a lot of belly fat. First you have to get rid of excess belly fat, then you train the muscles.
NB! By gaining more muscle, you burn more fat. Even though you cannot get rid of belly fat by doing abdominal exercises, the knowledge that muscle mass at rest also burns fat is a good reason to also start doing abdominal exercises!

Cardio training

To tackle belly fat, cardio training of at least 45 minutes is necessary 3 times a week. Cardio means increasing the heart rate. An increased heart rate is not desirable for everyone, people with heart problems and other medical conditions should first consult with their GP, sports doctor or other experts!

Good cardio training to tackle fat are:

  • Running and jogging,
  • Jumping rope,
  • Dancing,
  • Boxing,
  • Butterfly,
  • Rowing.

Find a cardio exercise that suits you. Does running make you extremely unhappy? A quick walk with your dog is also excellent! As long as you increase your heart rate! Do you hate the gym? YouTube is full of cardio workouts that you can do at home! Or turn on MTV Dance and dance your heart out at home while it’s raining outside! Do you live in a porch house? Excellent! Run up and down those stairs without falling! Do you live near the dunes or in a hilly area? Brisk walking over the dune tops, there is no better cardio training! As a beginner, it is wise to build up your cardio slowly!


To use the treadmill: set it to 4 kilometers per hour and at an angle of 13 degrees. This is excellent cardio! Your heart rate is constantly increased and after 45 minutes you have burned more than 600 kilocalories and you are soaking wet!

Abdominal exercises and strength training

Train the abdominal muscles with both muscle exercises and strength training. Use extra weight for strength training. You do these exercises every other day: on even days you do abdominal exercises and strength training and on odd days you rest your muscles.

To eat

Eating oats is famous for tackling belly fat. Replace fast carbohydrates with slow ones, so no more white bread, but whole wheat products. Not white rice but brown rice. Not white pasta, but whole wheat pasta. Eat more green vegetables, homemade farmer’s vegetable soup and salads with lemon juice and olive oil but without other additives or sauces! Eat extra protein and eat more legumes, tuna and nuts. Eat more oily fish and reduce raw red meat. Chicken and turkey are excellent. Forget all kinds of soft drinks and energy drinks and switch to mineral water, preferably from glass bottles. Drastically reduce sugar consumption.


Stress can be a cause of belly fat. As soon as the stress hormone, cortisol, gains the upper hand over the anti-stress hormone DHEA, cortisol stimulates the formation of belly fat. The anti-stress hormone actually stimulates the breakdown of belly fat.

What to do?

Stress must be addressed! A high intake of sugar and carbohydrates should also be greatly reduced! Train briefly and intensively instead of a lot and for a long time. Do relaxation exercises.


Gaining fat on the abdomen in men can be a sign that there is too little testosterone compared to the hormone estrogen. When these two hormones are out of balance in men, two problems arise:

  • Building muscle mass is a problem and
  • Lose fat around the abdomen.

(Every man has a small amount of estrogen in the blood, but this is often too much compared to the male hormone testosterone.)

What to do?

  • Training short and strong instead of a lot and long,
  • Reduce stress if possible,
  • Reduce eating licorice,
  • Drastically reduce alcohol consumption,
  • Use only olive oil and banish the margarine to the trash,
  • Take extra zinc and magnesium (in consultation with an expert!)
  • Eat organic and
  • Do relaxation exercises.



Women naturally store extra fat in the typical problem areas such as the abdomen, buttocks and thighs in order to reproduce. A woman with extra fat on the stomach, buttocks and legs looks more attractive to the man. There will always be fat on a woman’s abdomen, buttocks and legs. If women experience major problems with burning fat around the abdomen, this may be due to an imbalance between the two hormones testosterone and estrogen. Every woman has a little bit of testosterone in the blood, but that is often just too much compared to the female hormone estrogen. Then two problems arise for women:

  • Difficulty building muscle mass and
  • Lose fat in the abdomen, among other things.


What to do?

  • Live according to the principle of the 3 R’s: Rest, Rhythm and Regularity,
  • Reduce stress by doing relaxation exercises and consciously focus on your breathing more often,
  • Reduce the use of caffeine: such as coffee and cola,
  • Eat organic and more fiber,
  • Drink more mineral water from glass bottles,
  • Do not eat licorice and margarine,
  • Eat more: Brazil nuts, brown rice, whole grains, seaweed, onions and garlic,
  • Use more olive oil, flaxseed and avocado,
  • No cookies, cake, pastries or chips,
  • Take multivitamins, antioxidants, extra zinc, magnesium, chromium and extra fish oil (always in consultation with an expert!)
  • Eat more green vegetables and eat less sugar and
  • Train briefly and intensively instead of a lot and for a long time.



There is no simple solution to tackling belly fat. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a miracle pill or miracle cure. You can only tackle belly fat by carrying out and applying the following 5 steps. These 5 steps performed in combination will reduce belly fat:

  • Training and cardio,
  • Abdominal exercises and strength training,
  • Reduce energy intake by adjusting your diet,
  • Reduce stress and
  • Balancing hormones.


To operate

Surgery is a drastic solution, but stubborn fat can be tackled with liposuction. A tummy tuck is only done for people who have lost a lot of abdominal fat and who experience the excess skin as a major nuisance. Contacting your GP and specialist is the first step.

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